Pick two different locations in your neighborhood where you think you might find insects, such as a sports field, a garden, or a bushy hedge. As you walk through the first location, sweep the net through 10 times. Then use your hands to close the top of the net to trap what you’ve caught. If a bee or wasp ends up in the net, set the net down and allow it to escape before continuing.
When you’re done, survey the insects you’ve caught by slowly opening the net, bit by bit, recording the different types as they’re revealed. You don’t need to identify them by species or name—a simple qualitative description that allows you to distinguish between varieties will suffice (for example, “tiny black fly”).
As you work, be sure to keep one hand around the opening of the net to prevent the rest of the insects from escaping. If you’re uncomfortable holding onto the net while collecting data, you might want to transfer its contents into a large, clear plastic bag for analysis. This is also helpful if you find that your local insect varieties tend to fly or jump out of the net quickly.
Once data collection is complete, invert the plastic bag to return the insects to their habitat. Empty plant debris from the net before heading to the second location, and repeat the same procedure there.
Which area resulted in a longer list of insect varieties? Why do you think that is?